The dead have their stories, too. In the ground of Screwtooth Cemetery lie the corporeal remains of the gone and forgotten, the stories of their lives--both happy and tragic--seemingly lost forever. But a gifted young woman named Wren can channel their stories and give them a voice. And this is how Plum can finally tell her story. Wheelchair-bound and sickly, abused and neglected by her horrible parents, Plum lived yearning to escape her endless boredom and solitude, wishing for something wonderful to happen to her. But, sadly, Plum's wishes weren't to come true while she was alive. Nothing spectacular ever flew through her bedroom window to teach her about the importance of collecting finger bones in a velvet change purse, and no one with silken gloves and dangling entrails ever tried to kidnap her. Nothing to terrify and delight EVER passed by her way, and Plum died a none-too-lamented death. Only then did she find out that, for a girl like herself, life only really begins in the afterlife.
Screwtooth is a new comic book mini-series by Black Olive that tells the tale of Plum's journey through the afterlife. "I chose Plum as a character who is transformed through her adventure," said Black Olive of her protagonist. "I want to re-affirm my belief that we never know what is waiting around the corner in life, or in death, even when things get desperate."
In Plum's case, what is waiting for her is a world filled with strange beasts and new rules of reality. Her afterlife is an imaginative fantasy, but Plum's sad life is based on something all too real for Black Olive, who learned very young about the suffering of children when she lost someone close to her.
"The death of children is a terribly sad reality, whether that is a physical death or the death of their happiness," she said. "I wanted to give Plum--the suffering child--a voice, some freedom, adventure and a few laughs." And a second chance. In her adventures after her death, Plum will learn what she could not in life. "Plum finds her share of obstacles on the other side," Black Olive said, "and through them she finds her voice and learns to stand up for others."
And, of course, Screwtooth has some Black Olive-style sass and whimsy thrown in too, as well as lovely gray-toned artwork. The first issue of Screwtooth will be published in July, and Black Olive will be signing copies of her newest work, as well as Outlook: Grim, at Comic-Con International in San Diego. A preview is available at SLG Publishing's website, www.slgpublishing.com.
Established in 1986, SLG Publishing is a San Jose, CA-based publisher of comics books and graphic novels. Operating under its imprints Slave Labor Graphics and Amaze Ink, SLG Publishing has distributed the work of such notable cartoonists as Jhonen Vasquez, Evan Dorkin and Andi Watson.